Born: May 26, 1916
Died: January 30, 1963 Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California
Edward A. Carter, despite being wounded, killed or captured eight enemy riflemen.
Despite this, Carter's heroic actions were completely ignored after the war.
Carter's parents were missionaries who traveled the world and settled in Shanghai, China.
When he was still a teenager, Edward Carter ran away from home and joined the Chinese Nationalist Army.
He rose in the ranks to Lieutenant, however, it was discovered he was only 15 years old, too young to serve.
Carter was discharged and sent back home again to his parents.
Soon he enrolled in a Shanghai Military school where he learned to speak several languages.
Carter's next role was serving for an American volunteer group, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, that fought in the Spanish Civil War.
Because of the contacts he made in this combat, Carter returned to the United States in 1938 and married his fiancee, Mildred, in 1940.
He joined the US Army in 1941 and, possibly because of his previous military experience, was soon made a Staff Sergeant.
It was shortly after this promotion that Edward Carter was secretly put on an "intelligence watch" list, the implication being made by a US intelligence officer that
Carter might be a communist or at least was exposed to Communism.
Carter, being black, was also subjected to the usual taunts and lack of proper recognition in the military at that time.
In 1944, his unit was finally accepted for combat but Carter had to agree to a demotion to the rank of Private.
This was because it was preferred that a black man not be placed in command of white troops.
It was in 1945 that Carter, after being wounded five times, and attempting to save three of his fellow combatants, performed his feat of heroism.
He was recommended for a Medal of Honor, the country's highest award, but instead was given the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest.
Edward Carter tried to re-enlist in the Army in 1949 but because his secret record indicated he once served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, and several of its members
were Communists, the Army barred his re-enlistment but did not tell him the real reason why.
He was also removed from the California National Guard honor rolls, a move that left him very depressed.
After Edward Carter's death in 1963, his daughter successfully sought that his records be examined again to determine his qualification for the Medal of Honor.
On January 13, 1997, President Clinton finally awarded the Medal of Honor to Carter's son.
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